tv Right This Minute ABC December 5, 2016 3:00pm-3:31pm PST
very important thing that you know when we're finished, there are photos and we want to have conversations about that, but logistically with the space that we have, we're not going to be able to do that simultaneously, so why don't we start with the questions that -- hold on one moment now. we'll start with the questions, and if we can transition into the photos which would fall along fire and the alameda county coroner's office, we can keep those representatives here, and we can allow our other city leaders to go back to the very important and very busy work that they have. i'll go ahead and start on the left and work to the right. we'll make sure everybody has an opportunity to ask their questions. again, please be reminded we can only share certain information with you, and we'll do the best we can to answer all of your questions. we'll start with you, sir. >> have your teemtz been interviewing any of the operators, any of the people involved? is that a name that rings a
bell? >> i can't comment on who has been interviewed, but several people have already been interviewed, and those interviews are both being scheduled and are ongoing. >> operators or somehow involved with the -- >> i really am not going to get into the specifics, but several people have been interviewed who have connectivity to this facility. >> is there an estimate on how long it will take to recover the remaining bodies in the warehouse? >> some of the photographs we were going to show you in just a minute will show you an aerial depiction of the site, so we used aerial freef to get down as close as we could to the site. there's two areas of concern that we still have, and at this time we can't locate any other deceased victims, but we are prepared to remove them if the fire department and atf do locate them. at this time we're not evening
any more huge numbers. >> can you tell us how quick quickly -- i know it's a guess -- all these things are guesses. how quickly you would be able to determine whether criminal charges will be brought in this case? >> i really can't make that prediction, but i will tell you that we have a very big team that's working on it full-time. there is a lot of debris that's been taken out of the facility. we have been going through that debr debris. we're working with the sheriff's department and with the atf to look at each piece of debris that's been taken out as well as analyzing the crime scene and then looking at other records and things like that, so it's just going to -- it will just be a methodical, thorough, and as expeditiously as we can without sacrificing the detail that we need to look at things. hold on. hold on one second.
please. in the interest of time. go ahead. >> earlier this morning you -- is it true that the fire started in the back directly above that dance floor? is that right? >> that's still under investigation right now, but we have narrowed the area down to what we call the charlie side, which is the rear of the structure, so that's where our units are currently working with atf and our fire investigator to do the -- to assess where the actual origin was and cause. >> no, we can't confirm that will at this point. >> who is this question for, sir? >> do you have the exact number or an idea of the number of people that have been reported missing, that have been in
this -- >> our initial list of missing potential victims was in excess of 220, but a lot of those were duplicate because they called a person by a similar name, so we have reduced that list down to well under 100. we've now notified people that are alive and were suspected of being in the area, and they're safe. now we still have a list of about 50 people that still have not been accounted for, but many of those aren't directly related to the business. as example, my son hangs out in that area. he goes to events leak that. can you check to see if he is there? i haven't seen him in a couple of months. we're following up on each and every one of those. we're down to under 50 right now.
>> in the days and weeks ahead we are going to have many conversations about what we have learned from this incident, what, in fact, happened in this incident, and how do we move forward as a city? with this experience that we've just had. i can assure you that this is a city that is always committed to being in a continual improving process, and so the issue that many american cities have of communities that once were full of industrial blue collar jobs, that are now transitioning to other uses, this is a challenge that many american cities have and it is one that we are going to be grappling with in the days ahead. i, again, remind you of what are very appropriate focuses right now. we have a very clear priority of addressing the families and the
victims. we have all hands on deck addressing that compassionate and appropriate priority. there will be plenty of time in the days ahead to think proactively and long-term about the plethora of issues that this tragedy has raised. everything from unsafe warehouses to oakland's kbebl cultural community. these are all issues that i know we are going to as a community discuss, but i'm confident that as a community we will apply that creativity and compassion that oakland is so famous for to come up with our own unique solutions.
>> i want to say that it's too premature to know where the investigation will lead us, but what i will tell you is that as we uncover evidence, we'll be looking at and following up on every piece of information around that, but at this point i can't really comment on that. we're going to be looking at everything and following up on that. hold on one second. sir, go ahead. yes. are. >> my question -- how can the community as a whole -- i know that it's a very tragic time, but how can the community help one another -- >> i think every day there's going to be a new opportunity for this community to come together and share its grief and also try and help those that have been harmed the most by this tragedy.
today we're very much emphasizing the ability for people to contribute funds to the youcare.com site. we know that there are services and prayer vigils planned at community churches this week. the arts community is going to be coming together in different convenings. every day we will provide you with a new piece of information to send out to the community about ways that they can expr s express. i have every confidence that this is a community that will do that in a way that is beautiful and befitting of the compassionate and creative people that we are grieving over today. >> thanks. >> for the district attorney? >> yes.
>> so in our community we have not experienced a tragedy of this magnitude, and what we know is that the first responders, particularly the firefighters and the sheriff's staff, have been bringing out debris and other pieces of information -- of evidence or potential evidence, in buckets, and that's being taken to different sites where it's being preserved in a way that we will be able to go in with experts to analyze all those pieces of information or those products to see whether or not there's anything there that contributes to the investigation. >> go ahead, sir.
>> were you able to hear that? >> i think what you are asking me is what does that look like? is that right? okay. so what that looks like is that in my office we have people that work with -- again, we're working with atf, we're working with the sheriff's department, we're working with the fire department, the oakland police department. my staff will put on hazmat suits and they'll just start going through the debris. i know that the sheriff has some resources that we're going to be able to work with them to identify anything in there that has -- is significant to the investigati investigation. i can't really -- i don't know because we don't know what's there yet. there are mounds and mounds of debris, and so that's the monumental task at hand, but we don't want to leave anything behind, and then in addition to
just looking at the crime scene or the potential crime scene that we have a lot of materials. we're getting phone calls from people in the community that are telling us -- giving us information that we need to follow-up on those leads to see, again, is there any criminal liability, and if so against whom? that's just a very thorough investigation. >> go ahead, sir. right there. >> again, we have had all hands on deck at this scene keeping our focus on the appropriate priorities. that is doing an effective recovery operation that addresses the victims as quickly as possible, brings closure to the families as quickly and compassion atley as possible and preserving all evidence.
we are bringing in experts and, again, i want to thank cal oes. i have asked to have independent expert eyes with me so i can not only assess whether or not this operation is being done to the highest professional standard, but we are also going to be begin the process of inviting outside experts to help us assess the process by which we have handled this complaint as well as similar complaints. as of this moment i cannot say that i have knowledge of any changes in operations because i have been focused on the job that i was elected to do, which is to focus on the appropriate priority right now. i assure you that we are going to be asking those questions and asking how we can always do better. >> sir, right here.
[ inaudible ] >> so i'm not going to comment on what interviews have been conducted or what the investigation has been so far. our focus has been getting the team together, making sure that the scene is secure and that starting to do interviews of people. eventually if we haven't done it already, we will get to that, and i'm not going to comment whether we've done it yet. we're not going to leave anybody. certainly the most obvious people that need to be interviewed and second he could secondarily anyone that has something relevant to this investigation. i'm just not going to comment on that now.
>> i can -- i can just confirm are the permitted use of that building was as a warehouse. it was not legally permitted as either a living space, a residence, or an event space. >> sir, right down here. mayor. >> so one of the impacts of this now becoming a criminal investigation is that the rules around what constitutes public information have now changed.
right now we are working with the district attorney's office to ascertain what information could be provided to the public without compromising the investigation. i ask for your continued patience while we make that careful assessment because we would not want to compromise. the district attorney's ability to hold people responsible who committed this potential atrocity. >> so. [ inaudible ] >> again, that is the assessment that we're making. i assure you that there is information we will be providing, but we are just on a day by day basis responding to the changing nature of this very complex and devastating event.
>> again, i'm not really in a position to make any comment about a specific individual or about any specific potential information that is contributing to the investigation. i just can't comment. i'm not going to comment about it. >> so let me take this opportunity to -- we're starting to -- we're going to go to one more question before -- here's what we want to do. we're starting to get into some repetitive areas where we cannot release that information, and we have a lot of other questions and some information to share with you. because of that, we're going to have one more question. then after that question we're going to have our officials and heads of departments leave the stage so the fire department and the alameda county sheriff's coroner's office can share with you these photos and discuss in detail a little more. as far as investigative
questions, i think it's really been made clear, and we want to provide that information. not only to our media, but really to our community and our families. please ask your question right here. [ inaudible ] >> inspectors to look at these buildings, and can you tell us about why you weren't able to come back -- >> i think that counts as a repetitive question. you had a question. >> how many people are missing? >> yeah. >> we're still working on it. we just -- we're still trying to validate through our investigative team. we don't suspect they're in the building, but we want to make sure for th comfort of their family that made that request that we take a look at that to
make sure that they know where their loved one is. we believe one person came from korea. one person from guatalahara and one from finland. >> hold on one second. so we're not going to conclude the press conference. we'll continue, but please allow us to show you these photos so we can get into dialogue and if you have the follow-up questions that are specifically related, that would help all of us. thank you for your patience. we're bringing the photos up right now. we understand you'll have more questions. yes. >> just to tell you about the photographs. we have one photograph that talks about the heat-seeking aerial photographs we have to show that it's safe to work in there. nothing there would cause us any concern for heat.
this is the overhead picture of the structure, so you can see the damage and the debris that was cleaned up earlier today, and then the debris here. this is the question of the roof that's in question. we want to make sure that that is safe and secure and fortfied up before we send our people back in. another heat-seeking photograph to show that the area is safe to work. here we have validation of removing the items bucket by bucket, hand by hand. the workers bring it down to this clearing site, and they look at it to make sure it doesn't have any evidentiary value. they put it in the bucket. the bucket then goes to the clearing site. the bobcat that you see in and out of the building comes in and picks up the debris. the fire people have seen it for their evidentiary value, our people have seen it for evidentiary value to make sure there's no loss of life or body
parts attached, and we put it out to be he rademoved. after that we're going to take a secondary check. what the district attorney's office, they're going to see the debris pile that we've created, and we're going to run a cadaver dogs through the debris as well to make sure every part of this investigation is taken care of. the coroners, the fire, the city officials, and the district attorney. >> we have these photos available. they're also being e-mailed to everyone. everyone will have an opportunity, but what we'll do is we'll bring the sheriff up a little bit closer to the mikes. also we're having logistics challenges with media.
if you can contact your perspective outlets and have the choppers fly a little higher and push out, it will make it easier for all of us to hear. we'll bring them up one by one. the sheriff will speak into the microphones, and then we have -- >> this one here. >> then when we have questions, let's go back and we'll syst systemically make sure your questions are answered. one moment please. >> you have just been listening to a news conference that is happening right now in oakland on that oakland fire ghost ship building. you're looking at pictures of the scene after the fire. we've been hearing from the mayor, the sheriff's department, the police department. let's listen in just a little bit longer. >> the crack that you can see. this picture here off to the side is an overall view of the entire structure. you can see the amount of debris and the layers that the deputy sheriffs had to go to to try to locate the bodies and the fire
people. here is validation of the work that's been done. you see they're going bucket by bucket, and they take the -- that to the collection site, and i'll let the fire chief come out and talk about the heat zones. >> i'm want quite sure if i'll be able to take care of that, but maybe someone else will. first i would like to thank sheriff ahern for providing these photos. this is a great opportunity to illustrate the type of work and the area that was impacted, and so i'll speak to the heat registers that you see on the photo on my far left. if you look at these heat registers, that's residual heat from friday night's fire. the area that's primarily affected are really steel beams that have heat contained in the beams. i'll show you an example of what
i mean. these strieatiations here. >> let me help you out, sir. >> thank you. >> how about i hold it, and he can speak. does that work for everyone? >> thermal imageing cameras and forward looking infra-red cameras are showing any heat that's remaining in the building. when you look at the small footprint you see on the beams on the upper left, that's still heat that's contained within those steel beams. through overhead camera shots, we are able to identify areas where there's still actual heat and areas that we might want to consider as we move forward. this was taken probably about two hours ago at the most. the question was do those photos show any potential bodies? >> absolutely not. if you look at the size of the heat indication or body would have been something along the
lines of something this size or maybe a little bit larger between my finger and my thumb. i can't tell you that specifically. the sheriff's office actually took the photo. what i can tell you is that the structure itself this photo -- thank you -- this photo cwhich has pretty much all four quadrants of the building is roughly 106 feet from front to back and 48 feet from left to right. it's also approximately 23 feet high. if we go to this photo, as the sheriff point the out earlier, this is the wall that was potentially compromising firefighters' safety because it was a collapse hazard. this is the area we're working on shoring up right now so that our firefighters and personnel can go in and safely remove the debris and continue the body
recovery efforts. as i stated earlier, this i going to take probably several hours at minimum. it's an intricate operation, and we want to make sure we protect the areas below and any potential evidence that may be below that as well. if we go back to the earlier pho photo, that's this area here. that's this wall -- this parapit, and the area behind is the area that we haven't been able to make as much effort that we like to because of that potential safety concern. let me stand aside for everyone else. so the two areas that we've really needed to search a little bit more are this area here after they secure the wall and this back area here where we suspect the origin of the fire. everything else you can probably see is fairly well cleared, and we did zoom camera the best we could to make sure it was safe for our people and no bodies
need to be recovered from those sites. these photographs will be put on our web panl for you. where are we going to put them? the city's website. >> on the city's website. and distribution. right? >> excuse me. >> sure. >> we have a live shot -- >> okay. let's do this. we have a couple of folks who are entering into their live shots. please allow them to remove their microphones. then we'll get into answering your questions with the microphones. >> if you want to take one last shot of them, and they're going to be sent out to you digitally. >> does anyone else have a live shot coming up? you need to grab your microphone. you do? please come up and grab it.
thank you. >> i'll send these photos out. >> here's what we're going to do. these photos will be made available to you. we're not taking them anywhere. we're just trying to accommodate everyone's media timelines. sure, no problem. come on in. and we're. >> and we're watching the tail end of this news conference that is wrapping up in oakland on the latest on that oakland fire. you see the pictures in the background being moved. we will be getting those pictures, so we'll be able to give you a better look at them a little bit later throughout the newscast. quickly, let me give you the numbers that were given to us by the alameda county sheriff's office. 32 bodies recovered. 33 -- 36 bodies recovered. 33 have been identified. 16 families have been notified. five are pending right now. there were three people from abroad -- finland, guatemala, korea, and 22 of the 36
autopsies have been concluded. more are skenled for tomorrow. this is a potential crime scene. that means they have to preserve potential evidence. she said it was too early to charge anyone with anything, but she also said the charges could range from murder to involuntary manslaughter. that depends on the evidence they recover. that evidence is being brought out in buckets and moved to an area to be preserved, and at some point her investigators and forensic examiners will begin going through that information. >> yeah. other charges could come. hazmat crews will be going through the debris. obviously they're going to preserve it. against the weather as well. potential rain coming. there were no permits for living for event, for rental on that building, and there are some numbers in case you have information you think is pertinent to the investigation. we'll get that to you throughout the newscast, and we'll have the latest here on air on our app
and on abc 7. >> abc 7 news dan ashley is out there. you'll be hearing from him coming up. it's an all new show with great viral videos "right this minute." a robber has a plan to steal from an atm, but -- >> the plan backfires in every sense of the word. >> why mixing fire and stupidity doesn't pay. a determined bike rider is about to attempt his longest wheelie ever. the video to make your legs ache and hearts break. two brothers build a trench in their backyard. >> for a very special anniversary. >> then we invited our friends around to see. >> the fascinating story about a battle to remember. and tired of getting up early for this chore? >> make my bed. >> see how a smart duvet can do
it for you. >> went to great lengths to pull off heights. all i can say is, when it goes bad, goes back. here you see him walking in with a backpack. see him pull out a piece of paper and lights it. there he has a bottle full of liquid, pours it down into the atm. >> aren't you going to blow up what you're looking for? >> come on, wily coyote, let's see it. >> lights it, puts it up to the atm, puts the fire out. >> it worked. >> that's just the outside cover that opened up. there's going to be a harder safe inside. >> exactly. the plan backfired in every sense of the word, because as the angle switches back, you see he gets blowback. checking around. that didn't quite work because he blew out the inner casing, you moron. a few minutes later the police did find him.